By ALICIA PETSKA

After a national search, United Way of Roanoke Valley is tapping Abby Verdillo Hamilton to serve as its next president and CEO.

Hamilton brings 18 years of experience to the job. She previously served as the nonprofit’s vice president of community impact and had been leading it as acting CEO since July.

She succeeds Afira DeVries, who departed to accept a job with the nonprofit Spring Impact.

In a statement Wednesday, Hamilton said she was humbled by the United Way board’s decision.

“What an honor to continue to serve with such an incredibly talented staff team, and be of greater service to this organization in this new role,” she said.

“I look forward to leading United Way of Roanoke Valley into a new decade of strengthened collaboration, expanded impact, and committed service to our donors, agency partners, and those who benefit from our work as we forge a path to elevate 10,000 families to self-sufficiency.”

United Way board chair Kerry Edmonds said they were excited to see Hamilton take on this role.

“She is a proven leader with two decades of experience engaging developing and empowering high-performing teams, to identify and drive transformational social change,” Edmonds said.

In recent years, officials said, Hamilton’s work with United Way has put a keener focus on collective impact efforts, including building collaborations across multiple organizations to achieve community-wide goals on key issues.

She has supported the development, execution and growth of partnerships tackling needs such as school readiness, family financial stability, student homelessness and community health.

Those efforts, drawn on data-driven strategies, have earned grants from state and national groups.

Hamilton holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of the Philippines and a master’s in nonprofit management from Regis University in Colorado. She has worked with nonprofits both locally and abroad.

United Way of Roanoke Valley serves the communities of Roanoke, Salem, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, Franklin County and Craig County.

In fiscal year 2018, it managed a budget of nearly $5 million in donations and grants, according to its IRS Form 990 filings.

The group has set a goal to help 10,000 families achieve self-sufficiency by 2030.

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